Bringing it home

We were leaving Wal*Mart, paying for our overnight accommodations with purchased staples. I saw her coming, tall blond, attractive, at most 35. She looked ahead blankly. Then I saw the cane, the limp. Jeans covered the damage. It’s not winter, I thought; not a ski injury, soon to heal and have her showing those long legs again by summer. It is summer.

I read her sweatshirt. My vision blurred; something slammed me in the chest, hard.

“Army,” it said.

Outside it was raining. It could have been a long night if I hadn’t gotten that sledgehammer off my chest. Thanks for taking it from me. Pass it on.

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